Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Utmost Tradition - Submarine Sealing by Insiders: EVIL IS OUR MIDDLE NAME

We had no lame, late, or lazy (dog tired by day's end was not unusual) crew members. We had a crew of get-the-job done right, unconventional types. Pirates who could get clearances and do their jobs well were a comfortable fit.
From World War I to the beginning of World War II, some U.S. Navy ships had these insignia, but World War II brought them into general use. During long wartime patrols, crew members designed their own, which flew high on battle flags upon return from patrol. Many ships wrote to top artists to have their insignia designed, while others developed them on their own, frequently through contests. The Korean War saw another upsurge in interest in crests and
coats of arms.
Naval heraldry

In the 1950s and 1960s, OPNAVINST 5030.2B encouraged ships to design their own crests (or badges). Ships' seals, crests or badges usually include mottoes, which are phrases (originally in Latin) meant to describe group motivation or intention. Fortunately, the fighting, non-PC, 'pirate' spirit has been retained by modern submariners, at least in some of the SSNs. Feel free to comment with more:

I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way John Paul Jones - Commander Sloop Providence, 1776

Providence's badge reads Providentia Remedium Belli, translated Providence for war is the best prevention for it. The idea of military strength to prevent war is still accurate, if not polittically correct.

Contrast the preceeding with USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740)'s PC motto - In Spe Pacis Perennis, which tranlated reads In hope of everlasting peace. And USS Ohio (SSGN-726) Always First. Higher authority seems to have been more rigorous in approving mottoes for SSBNs and SSGNs. In the future, under an Obaman administration, we can expect things to tighten for SSNs, too. What a shame.

Here is USS Ashville's (SSN-758) official (PC) motto: From The Mountains To The Seas. And here is its non-PC piratatical motto: EVIL IS OUR MIDDLE NAME [1]

USS JIMMY CARTER (SSN-23): Semper Optima (Always the Best)

USS Connecticut (SSN-22): Arsenal of the Nation

USS Virginia (SSN-774) motto is the state's PC motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia: Sic Semper Tyrannis (Thus Always To Tyrants)

USS Texas (SSN-775) is not the PC state motto of Texas, but more bellicose: Don't Mess With Texas

USS North Carolina (SSN-777) is again the PC state motto: Esse Quam Videri (To be, rather than to seem)

USS New Hampshire (SSN-778) again the state motto, but aggressively non-PC: Live Free or Die

If you would like to share more examples, feel free to do so, but kindly document any unofficial motto.

Which of the two mottoes shown at top is official? Surprisingly, the one in latin is the unofficial pirate motto. Translation of Deponis Tuum Suavem Clunem: To set down your dainty buttocks (ass).

Pirate spirit! See what I mean? Submarines are always silent and strange.



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